World No. 1 Simona Halep has decided not to participate in the WTA Finals Singapore owing to a sustained back injury.
The decision came in after much consideration over the last couple of days. The Romanian, who started the season on a stellar note, incurred the injury in September during a practice session at the Wuhan Open. She suffered from a herniated disk and consequently, she hasn’t been able to play on the tour for more than a month now, having withdrawn from the Kremlin Cup as well.
Her problem was more than evident in her opening game in Wuhan against Dominika Cibulkova. After losing to her in straight sets, she participated in the China Open, only to retire in her opening game against Ons Jabeur.
Halep flew to Singapore in the hopes that her injury might alleviate but unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for her. Nonetheless, Halep has secured enough points on the tour to ensure that she retains her No. 1 ranking at the end of the season. She is also the only player to have qualified for all the five editions of WTA Finals Singapore.
The Romanian kick-started her season with a winning run in the Shenzhen Open and followed it with a runner-up feat at the Australian Open. She moved on to reach the penultimate rounds in many major tournaments – a feat that serves as a testimony of her form this year. She was also the French Open and WTA Montreal champion.
Halep’s withdrawal means that Kiki Bertens qualifies for the WTA Finals, along with the likes of Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, and Sloane Stephens. The eight players will compete in Singapore, starting on Sunday, October 21.
Wozniacki starts off the competition as the defending champion.
In other news, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland makes it to the semifinal of WTA Luxembourg 2018 – her first semifinal this year. Similarly, Eugenie Bouchard is also competing in the same tournament to make it to the final four. She will be facing Andrea Petkovic in the quarterfinal on Thursday evening.